A dramatic statement sunflower with edible, nutritious roots, Jerusalem Artichoke is incredibly fun to grow. Beautiful 4" wide yellow flowers rise on a towering sturdy stem in August-September, turning to spiky seedheads favored by goldfinches in October. Leaves are large, simple, and somewhat leathery. Roots have vigorous tubers which superficially resemble culinary ginger root, although the taste is sweet and nutty, almost chestnut-like. Tolerates sand, clay, drought, dry soil, shallow soil, rocky conditions, and wetland conditions, although in moist conditions it may suffer root damage from slugs, and it has a tendency to wilt dramatically when dry (although it recovers readily). Attracts butterflies and a very wide variety of native bees, and acts as a host plant for a number of native moths and butterflies, including Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui). Tends to grow well in disturbed areas, thickets and waste areas, and can rapidly form large clonal colonies by rhizomes, which has made it something of a persona non grata in agricultural fields. May require staking, and grows well against fences. Really an excellent ecologically important and highly nutritious native edible plant with a long history of cultivation by native peoples and a somewhat unique nutritional profile, but can be rather pushy in a garden setting. The "Jerusalem" in its name comes from a corruption of the Spanish word "girasol" which means 'sunflower' as it is not related to the Middle East in any way, and it is also completely unrelated to Globe Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus), with which its name is sometimes confused.
6-15 foot Tall
Plant Hardiness Zones: 2b-8b
Native Range: OH south to LA, west to TX and north to MT. Native to Canada in BC, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, and NS.
Review or Finalize Your Order